Improper Physical Restraints on Nursing Home Residents: Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

oregon nursing home malpractice lawyers nursing home abuse improper physical restraints on nursing home residents

Understanding Improper Physical Restraints on Nursing Home Residents: Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Explain

When we think of nursing home abuse we commonly think of physical abuse such as punching, kicking, biting, or otherwise striking a resident. We do not generally think of physical restraints as nursing home abuse. However, physical restraints are used in Oregon nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and rehabilitation centers. Rarely are these physical restraints properly used. In fact, many instances of physical restraints on the nursing home residents our improper, aggressive, negligent, and downright assaultive. Our Oregon nursing home abuse lawyers explain improper physical restraints on nursing home residents and why they may be due to nursing home abuse, neglect, and a product of negligent conduct.


What are Physical Restraints in a Nursing Home?


Many times when we think of physical restraints we may think of handcuffs, rope, or straight jackets. Well these are indeed types of physical restraints which some nursing homes may actually use on residents, the definition of physical restraints is quite broad. In fact, nursing home staff know how to use other physical restraints that may not seem like a physical restraint. This includes restraints such as the following:


  • Lap belts on wheelchairs
  • Bed rails or side rails on beds
  • Weighted vest or other types of vest that restrict motion or make motion more difficult
  • Weighted blankets
  • Moving furniture alongside beds to make it more difficult to standup
  • Hand mits
  • Lap trays or tables that locking place and make it difficult if not impossible to stand up from the table at noon time
  • Leaving residents in a bath tub or shower without a means to get out
  • Handcuffs or soft ties
  • Ropes or straight jackets, and
  • Any other physical restraints.


Dangers of Physical Restraints in Oregon Nursing Homes


Improper physical restraints on nursing home residents could result in serious personal injury or even the wrongful death of a resident. This is because physical restraints can completely limit and individuals ability to move and evade certain things. This includes being able to escape in an emergency such as a fire, or being unable to fight off an assaultive attack from a staff member or another resident. Indeed, unless a physician has ordered physical restraints for the health and safety of a resident, or any situation to temporary restraining an unruly resident, most instances of physical restraints on elderly, nursing home residents are an unconstitutional deprivation of freedom. 


This also causes ethical issues in a nursing home when staff members are physically restraining residents that do not necessarily need physical restraints. In other words, when staff members restrain elderly residents for their own benefit rather than the resident’s safety, it raises huge ethical concerns.


Injuries to Residents Due to Physical Restraints


In addition to legal and ethical issues, physical restraints can also cause several injuries to residents due to a nursing homes negligence. This includes some of the following injuries:


  • Damaging fragile skin on hands and ankles
  • Increased risk for pressure sores or bedsores
  • Psychological harm or emotional harm
  • Increased risk of falling due to bed rails forcing a resident to climb up and over the rails and therefore fall from a greater height
  • Circulation issues if her shades are too tight
  • UTIs and dehydration issues because residents are not free to go and eat, drink, and use the restroom as they please, and
  • Many other dangers.


Improper Use of Physical Restraints is a Serious Issue


If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect contact the Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.  


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Nursing Home Abuse cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  


Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law. 

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